Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the NHRA’s top pedal grinders compete for the checkers as Lucas Oil Raceway hosts the high-octane conclusion to this year’s NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, one of drag racing’s most prestigious events. The ghosts of former Model-T drivers race alongside novice and veteran speed demons such as champion Larry Dixon as they try to secure enough points to propel their teams into the Countdown playoffs and Full Throttle championships. The legendary track lives up to its reputation for smoothness as cars glide towards the finish line like sticks of butter on a bunny slope.
With hundreds of locations across the country, Right Dental Group represents a collection of oral-health-care professionals who deliver a variety of quality dental services. The collective places an emphasis on relationship building—meaning patients can confess their most egregious toffee-apple trespasses while receiving a teeth scrubbing delivered with precision and understanding. Each of the dentists is prescreened for a consistent record of excellence and the ability to efficiently locate a cavity in a toothstack.
MeoowzResQ rescues cats and kittens and raises them in private foster homes until they can find forever families. The more than 200 cats available for adoption range from bottle-fed babies to senior citizens, many of whom have been abused, injured, or found abandoned in boxes on the sidewalk or as survivors of fire. Volunteer foster families provide litter, a warm bed, and food for the cats, and each feline receives full vaccinations, de-worming treatment, and a spay or neutering treatment. Many of the cats come from shelters with rampant disease and require veterinary care and medications. In 2012 alone, MeoowzResQ placed 1,485 cats and kittens in loving permanent homes.
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In 1984, a group of Orange County community members founded Families Forward after realizing they shared the same vision. Their goal: to help support local families in financial crisis with housing, food assistance, and other services that could help them achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. Along with 28 transitional homes to help families dealing with the loss of their homes or eviction from their apartments, Families Forward runs a food pantry that supports more than 7,000 people each year, career workshops, counseling services, and seasonal programs for children. The transitional housing program has helped more than four out of five families served successfully transition from crisis to stability. Once a family's financial status and living situation stabilize, they can return to being independent, productive community residents, which helps kids from such households experience a safe, happy, and secure childhood—accomplishing Families Forward's number-one priority of protecting children.
The Orange County Ronald McDonald House provides low-cost, comfortable lodging for families with seriously ill children who are receiving medical care in Orange County hospitals. Each family staying at the house has a private room and bath, and can access shared areas including a fully stocked kitchen, laundry room, and lounge areas. Although the actual cost for a family to stay for one night is approximately $150, families are asked to pay $10 per day—though no one is turned away due to an inability to pay. Housing costs are largely funded by donations.